Bookbug’s Featured Blogger Series | Episode 9
Today we have one of the most supportive book bloggers out there. I don’t think she needs much of an introduction because most of you book lovers will be familiar with Angela who is the proud owner of the blog Hiding Behind Books.
You can follow her on Twitter : @sniffin_hoardin
She is a passionate romance reader and have quite a few experience to share with you all. I hope you enjoy this fun Q and A with Angela :
How did you find your love for romance fiction? What is your first romance read?
There was no special way I came into Romance fiction. One day, I just decided to try other genres because I was tired of YA Fantasy! So while I was reading Twilight (don’t hate me lol) I started googling for other romance stories without the fantasy factor and came across.. 50 SHADES OF GREY. HOW CLICHE AM I hahaha. But yeah, that was my first romance read and of course I binged read all BDSM-related romance stories, then small-country romance, then college romances, and finally to NA Romance!
Your top three romance authors? Mention why you like them in three simple words too.
Top 1. Emma Scott – CHARACTER-DRIVEN STORIES. TEARJERKER.
Top 2. Laurelin Paige – STEAMY. ALPHA-MALE. HUMOR!
Top 3. Colleen Hoover – TEARS. LOVE. TEARS.
What is the ideal mix in a romance book? Mention anything you want – theme, the kind of characters, tropes etc.
Ideally, these are the elements I always love to read in romance!
AGE GROUP: New Adult (college age to early 30s!)
MUST BE / MUST HAVE: emotional / sweet and sappy / HEA / long-ish (prologue and epilogue set years after!) / maybe a series? / enemies to lovers / roommates / H & h with a dark past / age difference! / rich & poor / opposites attract! / soulmates / single parent
There’s definitely a lot that I missed but so far these are always what I look for!
Let’s be honest here, in most stories women are particularly portrayed as this beautiful perfect creature and that is not just for romance books. Plus size heroines or a woman who has no peculiar features are comparatively less. However, the one thing romance novels do have in common is to make the lead guy this well-built alpha character. There are other kinds as well. But the “Charmings” are the majority. What is your take on this?
It’s honestly so disappointing to see so little representation in Romance novels. You’re right that a lot of the Heroes and heroines are portrayed as perfect creatures, and I guess this all boils down to the kind of characters that people like to read. So as much as it is a writing problem, it’s also a reading problem because maybe (A BIG, FAT MAYBE), readers don’t like to read about the romance of plus size women, or non-alpha males, or people with disabilities, or mixed-race couples, or LGBTQ+ etc.
It’s high time for writers and readers alike to be exploring these factors because ignoring it doesn’t help anyone. As a plus size woman, reading these romances about characters with the most IDEAL images aren’t disencouraging, but also plants the idea in me that only people with these kinds of qualities deserve HEAs. Is that a ‘ME’ issue? Yes, probably. But not being able to read about romance stories featuring people like myself definitely contributes to that. When it comes to Heroes, a lot of them are written as something to be fantasized about, again probably because those are the ideal type of men that women (who are the major market for romance novels) like to read about.
In the end, something or someone really has to give. The industry needs to practice inclusivity even with the kind of entertainment it presents to the audience, supporting all kinds of genres, themes, etc., instead of supporting the same old shit (swearword SORRYYY) that we read everyday. And the audience, in turn, needs to be open to these changes and start trying something new. Y’all never know what you’ll find!
One particular trope you do not wish to see any more in romance books?
Not really a trope but GOOD GOD am I tired of reading about WEAK WOMEN PRETENDING TO BE STRONG INDEPENDENT WOMEN. I’m also sick of THE MAGIC DICK. AND PLEASE EVERYONE STOP USING/ENJOYING THE ROMANTICIZED VERSIONS OF MENTAL ILLNESS AS A PLOT-DRIVER. JUST STOP.
Your take on the steamy romantic scenes. Should it be there? Mellowed down? Or it should be taken in the good spirit whether the story needs it or not?
Yes to steamy scenes! I enjoy those parts because I think it’s an essential part of the story. On the degree of steamy-ness, it’s very subjective. I mean, what could be overkill for me could be normal for someone else. But then, most of the romances I’ve read aren’t that graphic when it comes to the sexy scenes. The really graphic, really INTENSE ones I’ve encountered are usually featured in erotica or BDSM-themed stories.
Tell us about three romantic scenes that touched your heart. Please mention the author and the book.
OH MY GOD WHY IS THIS SO HARD!!! And of course I forgot all my favorite romantic scenes the minute someone asked. UNBELIEVABLE.
I can’t think of anything specific for now, simply because there are TOO MANY. But I’d love to suggest books that really made an impression on me!
Full Tilt by Emma Scott
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
The Beautiful Hearts duet by Emma Scott
And yes, if you haven’t guessed it yet I AM OBSESSED WITH EMMA SCOTT ISTG.
What do you prefer – A dramatic epic fantasy novel or an understated realistic romance?
UNDERSTATED REALISTIC ROMANCE, ANY DAY.
Top three quotes from your romance reads.
“If he loved you with all the power of his soul for a whole lifetime, he couldn’t love you as much as I do in a single day.” – Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
“In the future, if by some miracle you ever find yourself in the position to fall in love again… fall in love with me.” – It Ends With Us, Colleen Hoover
“His letters undressed me, but his silence left me naked.” – Long Live the Beautiful Hearts, Emma Scott
Suggest five best romance books of all time including two classics. (Classic is for me!! It is one of my New Year goals you see…)
I SUCK AT CLASSICS SO SORRY 🙁 The only romance classics I’ve read were Wuthering Heights and Romeo and Juliet because I HAD TO READ IT in school. (sorry sorry!)
But for Contemporaries, here are my best choices!
ALL OF EMMA SCOTT’S BOOK, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PLEASE READ IT!!! Check out her titles here.
Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan
Most of All You by Mia Sheridan (GOD I’M CRYING JUST TYPING THIS)
A Brand New Ending by Jennifer Probst
A Wish for Us by Tillie Cole